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Talks

Transcendental Arguments (2010):

This is a 30 minute podcast recorded at the University of Chicago in 2010. It's part of the excellent Elucidations podcast series. I was interviewed by two Chicago graduate students, and the interview is supposed to be about transcendental arguments. I do say something about transcendental arguments but the main focus is how-possible questions in epistemology (for a brief explanation see the section on my research). It's mainly an excuse to discuss my 2007 book The Possibility of Knowledge.

Cranks, Conspiracies and the Hidden Self (2014):

This is a recording of the Mind lecture I gave in February 2014 at the University of Warwick. Anyone who gets a Mind Senior Research Fellowship is asked to give a lecture on their research at their home institution. I decided to try to outline some of the ideas of Self-Knowledge for Humans for a non-specialist audience. The talk lasts around 30 minutes and is followed by a short discussion with members of the audience. The lecture is mainly about self-ignorance, and uses the example of Oliver the conspiracy theorist who lacks a proper understanding of why he believes the things he believes about 9/11. The Nisbett and Wilson pantyhose experiment also puts in an appearance. I'm still working on self-ignorance and trying to develop the insights of my account in Self-Knowledge for Humans by focusing on the role of epistemic vices in the formation of our beliefs, desires and other attitudes.   

Simple Seeing and Inattentional Blindness: Fred Dretske and the Invisible Gorilla (2014):

This is a talk I gave in Bern, Switzerland, in June 2014, at a memorial symposium in honour of Fred Dretske organized by the Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy. Dretske's work had a huge influence on the thinking that led me to write my book The Possibility of Knowledge, and I was lucky enough to get to know him in the last years of his life. No philosopher ever pays tribute to another philosopher by agreeing with him, and I decided to pay tribute to Fred by tackling his account of simple seeing. In inattentional blindness (as in the famous invisible gorilla experiment) you fail to see an object (e.g. a gorilla) that is right in front of you and in your line of sight because you fail to attend to it and aren't expecting it. I argue that this phenomenon causes problems for Dretske's account of simple seeing. At the same time, Dretske's work calls into question some of the key assumptions of the inattentional blindness literature. The lecture handout is available on request by email.